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Governance limbo is putting Northern Ireland under immense strain

The civil service has done an excellent job since power-sharing talks collapsed but the situation cannot endure

By Jill Rutter and Jess Sargeant  

Stormont in Belfast. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

On Thursday the Institute for Government was interviewed by Sky News about our new report on Northern Ireland. We suggested that the UK did not pay much attention to what was going on there. Pushback from the interviewer: we talk about the border a lot.

Which is true. The words “Irish backstop” are seared on the hearts of a generation of Brexit watchers, commentators and negotiators. Ever since the then prime minister Theresa May signed off a Joint Report full of…

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